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Saturday, 31 October 2015

Share a Scare - Spooky tales - Halloween Blog Hop 2015 + Trick-or-Treat Blog Hop


Welcome to Share a Scare - the Halloween Blog Hop 2015. Today I am here to share with you a scary story.

So to my scary story. This is a fictionalised account of something that happened to my husband, Rob, while on a business trip. His family have a habit of coming across the supernatural. I have changed the names of people and places 'to protect the innocent' :).

Late Rooms
by Natasha Duncan-Drake

Rich rubbed the spot between his eyes after he slowed and turned into the driveway, pushing his glasses back up his nose and looking up at the huge stately home. It was impressive even in his ready to fall asleep state. This place had been a real find when hurrying to book a last minute place to stay. It looked like it should be on a biscuit tin, not offering £40 a night rooms to travellers who had waited until the last moment to book.

Wittegen Press
$0.99 | £0.99
Amazon | Other
Or maybe that should have been on the cover of an M.R. James novel as he drove round a curve in the sweeping drive to catch a glimpse of a side of the building that was not lit up with flood lights. It had 'atmospheric' down to a tee.

It was a beautiful building, but Rich was far too tired to worry about aesthetics. The drive up had been long and the traffic a nightmare and all he wanted to do was fall into bed and get some well needed sleep. He did, however, manage to raise a smile as he found a parking space right next to the entrance to the big old building. Occasionally it actually paid to be arriving after everything that could possibly be happening at a hotel was over for the night.

Turning off the engine, Rich yawned, rubbed his face and then dragged his aching body out of the car. It felt like he had been sat for a week, not five hours. Next time he was going to stop halfway for dinner, he promised himself.

It was only an overnight stay so he grabbed his laptop bag from the boot. It had everything he needed for the night stuffed into it, as well as the only valuable thing in the car. The hotel didn't look like the kind of place people habitually tried to break into cars at night, but you never could tell. Throwing the bag over his right shoulder he trudged towards the main door, gravel crunching under his feet with every step.

The air was misting in front of his face as he breathed out; there was going to be frost overnight he was sure. Down south it was still in the in between stage that didn't really know if it was Autumn or Winter, but this much further north it had already decided and there was a chill in the air. He regretted not putting his coat on before getting out of the car. With the cold waking him up a little, he put on a burst of speed to make it inside.

Thankfully, as he walked through the large oak doors with their glass panels and big brass handles a lovely wave of heat hit him. There was a large radiator just inside the entrance and an over door heater pushing down a warm curtain of air.

For a moment he stood there, just getting his bearings. It was good to see that the hotel looked as nice on the inside as it did on the outside. Everything had a very Gothic feel to it, but it was clear the whole place had been renovated in the not too distant past. Not that he really cared about the d├ęcor as long as the bed was comfortable.

Wittegen Press
$2.99 | £1.99
Amazon | Other
There was no one at reception when Rich walked up to it, but then he hadn't really expected there to be. Instead there was a nicely carved sign in front of a well disguised electronic bell that said: "Please ring for the night porter."

Rich did as asked and waited.

A few moments later a smartly dressed young woman appeared from one of the back rooms.

"Good evening," she said, "how may I help you?"

"I have a room booked," Rich said, "under the name Duggan."

The young woman tapped on a touch screen that Rich couldn't see properly and smiled again.

"Yes, of course, Mr Duggan," she said, "everything is ready for you. I hope your journey up was pleasant."

"It was awful," he replied, smiling to take the bite out of his words, "but I am very glad to be here."

"If you would just sign here," she offered him a piece of paper, which he duly scribbled his name on.

Rich just wanted to get to his room as quickly as possible. The young woman, put the paper away, typed something in the computer and then picked up a key-card that must have been pre-programmed, before coming out from behind the desk.

"If you'll follow me I'll show you to your room," she said. "The corridors are a little maze like if you haven't been here before and I'm afraid we have a little walk. Do you have any more luggage?"

"Nope, this is it, thanks," he replied and they set off.

It was indeed something of a maze as they went up some stairs, round several corners, then up a major staircase, along another corridor, through some hallway fire doors, down two more short flights of stairs in quick succession and finally made it to his room.

"This is it," she said, slipping the card into the lock and pushing the door open for him. "Breakfast is served from seven thirty in the Lancing Suite, which is back the way we came to the main staircase, then on along that corridor; you can't miss it."

"Thank you," he replied as she handed him the key-card.

"Sleep well," she said and walked back the way she had come, her step a lot faster than the way they had arrived.

It almost looked like she was hurrying, but Rich shook his head and decided he really needed some sleep.

His eye caught sight of a panel on the door as he started to walk in, it said "Alice's Room". He turned to ask the young woman who Alice was, but when he looked she was already disappearing through the next set of fire doors.

Wittegen Press
FREE
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Wondering if they had an Alice in Wonderland theme or something to help remember room numbers he pushed his way into the room and, when he set eyes on it, all he really cared about was the large bed right in the centre of the room. It was tempting just to dump everything, strip his clothes off and sleep, but he knew he'd regret it in the morning. He went with the dumping most things, including his jacket and most of his clothes, then grabbed his toothbrush and used the facilities as quickly as he possibly could.

The bed felt amazing as he climbed in and used his feet to kick up the duvet at the end. He never understood why hotels insisted on tucking in duvets under the mattress; it made no sense. There was a reason they weren't sheets.

The air in the room was not modern hotel room warm, it had dark oak beams and plaster walls which did not a cosy room make, but he always overheated in those type of places anyway. The duvet was thick and he snuggled under it quickly. It was just how he liked it. At which point he promptly fell asleep.

It felt like no time at all when something woke him.

He climbed from a weird dream about cats to reality over the course of a few seconds until his brain realised he was awake. However, he did not open his eyes.

At first he wasn't sure why, but a feeling of unease stopped him looking around.

He was still mostly under the covers, with the duvet up over his nose, but his forehead felt really cold, as if the heating had failed completely. Normally he would have turned over, buried himself further under the covers and been done with it, but he stayed very still. It was totally irrational, but he felt as if he was being watched.

The idea that if he moved something would reach out and grab him, or worse yet, make him open his eyes, settled in his brain for no reason he could fathom. It was ridiculous, but it kept him motionless. Keeping his eyes firmly shut, he strained his ears, listening for any possible sound in the room. There was the gurgle of a pipe, the low buzz of a light bulb in the corridor that needed changing, the gentle breath of the heater under the window, that didn't seem to be touching the cold around his head. Nothing unusual about the sounds and yet they only went to increase his anxiety.

For a few moments he considered reaching over and turning on the light. Light always made things better. Unfortunately that would mean sticking his arm out of the safe cocoon of the duvet into the cold unknown. What if he touched something? Even worse, what if he turned on the light and actually saw something?

He knew very well that most people would have laughed at him, but he was almost positive there was something there. He couldn't say he had ever seen a ghost himself, but he'd felt them and heard them and his family had a nasty habit of finding them in places where they lived. The fear was irrational since he'd also never heard of anyone he knew being hurt by a phantom, but he couldn't help it. He definitely did not want to meet a former occupant of the room.

When a breath of icy air brushed over his forehead he had had enough. It seemed even at thirty seven he could hide under the duvet like he was nine.

The moment he stopped moving he strained to hear anything. Given how hard he was breathing, even though he had done very little to cause it, he really couldn't hear anything except that. It was isolating and made him want to curl up in a little ball. He did manage to stop himself doing that, however.

For long minutes he just lay there, listening, feeling ridiculous, but totally unable to stop himself. There was no way he could go back to sleep and all he could do was stare into the safe darkness under the duvet.

It seemed to take forever, but gradually the feeling of fear began to ebb. His heart rate evened out, his breathing slowed and, bit by bit he calmed until he was lying there feeling like a right prat.

Very carefully he put his fingers up over the edge of the covers. The air was back to its usual temperature. Even so, he pulled the duvet down millimetre by millimetre until he could peer into the room. It was dark, but there was a little light through the curtains and under the main door and all he could see was a perfectly ordinary hotel room.

Breathing a sigh of relief, he turned over and tried to go back to sleep. He wasn't stupid though, he tucked the duvet right up over his nose again, just in case his visitor decided to come back.

It was definitely not the most restful night's sleep Rich had ever had. In fact by five he was wide awake and up and dressed and using his phone. He looked up the history of the hotel and the first thing he found was the hotel on a Haunted Hotels website. Apparently Alice's Room was the place to stay if you wanted a close encounter.

According to the site, Alice had been a daughter of the family who had built the house originally. She had killed herself by jumping from an attic window after being spurned by her lover for another woman. The description said she liked to visit male quests and stare at them, and sometimes she would treat female guests to hair pulling or cover stealing. Rich was very glad he was a man.

If he ever came this way again, he was not stopping in Alice's Room for love or money.

~*~

Today my sister and I are also participating in this hop over at Wittegen Press, where there is a free spooky book for all our visitors to download. From tomorrow (1st Nov) it will be for sale, but if you want it FREE - go GET IT NOW :). Wittegen Press - Share a Scare - Free Fiction - Halloween Blog Hop 2015

Share a Scare participants:



Today we are also part of The Trick-or-Treat Blog Hop - where the idea is to give away books instead of candy to those who comment.
Trick or Treat Blog Hop
  The Trick-or-Treat Blog Hop

These are the book I have on offer - I can send either a Smashwords code (means you will be able to redownload the file if you ever lose it - ePub, Kindle, pdf, rtf, lrf, pdb, txt) or the book file directly (Kindle, ePub, PDF). Please let me know what you would like when you comment as well as the book title you are requesting (click the book image to visit the full book listing). I will also need an email address for sending books files directly. (If you don't want to leave your email addie in the comments you can always use the contact form in the left side menu col).
Face of the Dead The Beginning Book of Darkness Cursed
In the Event
of Death
When Darkness
Beckons

Trick-or-Treat participants:

18 comments:

  1. Happy Halloween! Wow there are some great folks on these blog tours :)

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  2. Wow. I wouldn't want to go back to that hotel either. Happy Halloween!

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    1. Thank you so much for visiting - did you want one of the free books? If you'd rather not leave your email in a comment you can use the contact form in the left side menu col.

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  3. What a great spooky story! Happy Halloween! :)

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    1. Thank you, Happy Halloween. Did you want one of the free books? There is a contact form in the left side menu if you are worried about leaving your email addie in a comment.

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  4. I would love a Smashwords code for Face of the Dead. Thank you! jmarenbowen@gmail.com

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    1. Thank you for visiting - I have emailed your code. I really hope you enjoy the book. If there are any problems, please LMK.

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  5. Loved the little tale and wish I could visit that hotel!

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    1. Thank you. I wish I could find the info online about the ghost again, because my hubby really did look it up, even if I took some dramatic licence with his encounter :). Unfortunately it seems to have vanished. Maybe the hotel are trying to pretend they don't have a ghost... :)

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  6. Thanks for joining the fun again this year. Between the two of our hops there are a ton of books. =D

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    1. Thank you too - there were so many free goodies :D We should do the same again next year. BTW would you like any of the books - I nabbed yours :) I have a huge to read pile now ... well huger than it was already - so many books, not enough hours in the day :D

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  7. Good story. Ghost can be so annoying in the middle of the night.
    Nancy

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    1. At least we can dive under the covers at night :) Thank you so much for dropping by.

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  8. A great Halloween Weekend to you , dear Lady Tasha....

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    1. And to you too - thank you so much for dropping by. Would you like a code for one of the books?

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  9. Spooky! Sleeping in a haunted hotel is definitely not on my "to do" list. ;)

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    1. Mine either - there is something really worrying about a haunted hotel room! :)

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Thank you so much for reading. I love to hear from people. Please leave your comments below.